‘I always worked with fabric even as a kid. I started working in the rag trade as an apprentice cutter in Flinders Lane in 1962 and then was heading in to bridal and thought; if I’m going to do bridal then I need to know something about hats. The very first piece of felt I picked up and blocked, I went, “Ahhh, that’s what you’re meant to do.” You’re working in three dimensions rather than working in flat pattern work.

‘I still do a huge amount of sewing but now I teach hard and soft sculptured costume. It’s kind of a combination of millinery and costume. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had lots of big jobs and lots of fabulous work to create. The last job I did was Aladdin – it was lovely… but Star Wars, Phantom and Moulin Rouge were also great.

‘I’ve been a milliner for 55 years and I just turned 71. That was why I had the blue beard done because it was my birthday – my birthday beard.’

‘I’ve always sang – at school and stuff. I played trombone for a really long time. I kind of got a bit sick of it so I thought I’d sing instead. I sing in a band called The Venusians.’

How do you feel when you’re singing on stage?

‘It depends. Sometimes you do a gig and people respond to it well and it’s a really nice happy feeling but sometimes it’s just really fucking scary!’